HAI organises 5th edition of Hoteliers' Conclave

The conclave was inaugurated by Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy

ighlighting India’s potential to become the biggest tourism destination with the combined effort of private players and the Government, G Kishan Reddy, Union Tourism Minister of India, inaugurated the 5th HAI Hoteliers' Conclave, the flagship event of Hotel Association of India, at The LaLit in New Delhi on Thursday. Reassuring the industry, the Tourism Minister indicated that the new National Tourism Policy, expected to be rolled out in time before the next Parliament session, will address various issues presently faced by the hospitality and tourism sector in India. The Government is, at present, in the process of incorporating feedback from the industry and a few ministries before it finalises the new National Tourism Policy.  

Seeking greater collaboration and cohesion between the Government and private players, the Tourism Minister called on hoteliers to partner with the Archaeological Survey of India to help improve more than 3,500 monuments across the country. Speaking on the employment crisis faced by India, the Union Minister said the crisis can be alleviated if the growth of the tourism sector works in tandem with the Government.

In his keynote address, HAI President and Managing Director & CEO, IHCL, Puneet Chhatwal, said, “The tourism industry is going through not just an evolution but a revolution. Collaboration between the Government and private players will encourage investments in the sector and create millions of incremental jobs. We are moving from the era of over service to good service. The pandemic put everything under a magnifying glass and now with rationalisation taking place and the adoption of new technology, the world is rethinking tourism. The focus is now on inclusive growth which is sustainable and climate resilient.”

Highlighting the importance of leading the country towards an extensive Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Chhatwal re-emphasised on the significance of promoting the coming together of public entities with private players in a mutually beneficial partnership. Such collaborations could potentially create ample business opportunities and help in aiding the employment crisis at hand. From a global standpoint, one out of four jobs have been contributed by the travel and tourism sector.

Speaking on the occasion, Arvind Singh, Secretary (Tourism), Government of India, said, "The expectations of the Indian hospitality space are rising rapidly, mirroring the growth in the quality of international tourism. This reflects the growth of the Indian tourism industry, which is twice that of the global tourism industry. The upcoming G20 Meet in India will be a key factor in aiding recovery of Indian hospitality industry. The Government has identified 55 unique locations for key G20 meetings on tourism, finance, labour etc. These sites are chosen for their availability of hotels, convention centres, air, road and rail connectivity."

MP Bezbaruah, Secretary General, Hotel Association of India, said, “The conclave was a great opportunity for the hospitality industry to take stock of the status of the industry post-Covid, share experiences and exchange ideas. It deliberated on the industry's role in India@2047. It was an occasion for in-depth assessment of the lessons learnt, the challenges facing the industry in future and how to exploit the opportunities in making tourism and hospitality truly a pillar of development.”

The conclave highlighted the key takeaways from challenges faced during the pandemic. The panel sessions encapsulated pertinent discussions about ways to revitalise and evolve concepts to present new opportunities and enhance business in the post-pandemic scenario. 

“We should emphasise more on revisiting the policies to run a better business. Positioning, job creation and attracting investment for the industry are going to play an important role. HAI, is constantly, retrieving to have the industry status for the industry to overcome the losses. The smallest of reforms including promoting LTC for domestic travel and incentivising by giving a tax advantage to travellers will also contribute a large part,” said KB Kachru, Vice President, HAI and Chairman Emeritus & Principal Advisor (South Asia), Radisson Hotel Group.

Hotel Association of India (HAI), celebrating 25 years of existence, has been an active proponent of the industry, taking up several industry issues and actively pursuing the Government to grant infrastructure status to the hospitality sector. The day-long conference hosted several hospitality industry leaders and experts from around the globe along with owners and CEOs of hotel companies, policymakers and professionals.


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